1. Watering your garden in the early morning prevents moisture loss that can occur later in the hotter part of the day. It also helps prevent powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that thrive in high humidity levels. Similarly, mulch helps conserve moisture and prevent those nasty microorganisms from splashing up on the plants.
2. It’s a myth that watering during the hotter part of the day causes scald on your plants.
3. Save space by planting garlic, leeks, and green onions in containers. They can easily be tucked in here and there and they help keep insects away. Bonus: If they produce scapes you get a pretty visual accent.
4. If you have an area you can dedicate to onions, try perennial aka Walking Onions. Plant them once, and you can harvest fresh green onions for life. Save that flavor by slowly roasting the chopped tops in an iron skillet. Store in a cool dry place.
5. Don’t harvest all your veggies before the first fall frost, some actually like it. Cabbage, carrots, parsnips and kale taste better, sweeter, after a little frost. Brussel sprouts like hard frosts. Really. Check this out.
6. When transplanting tomatoes, plant them deep enough that the stem is covered with soil all the way up to the top set of leaves. “Bury them up to their necks.” was what the local farmers told us.This helps them develop a better root system, which will take in more of the available nutrients and make for a healthier plant.
7. Use an old window screen resting on wooden horses to cure onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Be sure it is out of the elements and has plenty of air flow. For larger crops like we grow, an old screen door works great.
8.Don’t throw out those sweet potato vines, they are highly nutritious. Cook the way you would spinach. Likewise, trim the onion tops, chop, roast, and grind into onion powder. Hey, that stuff in the store is pricey and not nearly as good.
9. When blanching vegetables to freeze or can, save the water. If you are just preparing a small batch, the cooled water is a great way to give your house plants a nutrient lift. For larger amounts save the water to later turn into soup base. Here’s how to use your scraps to do just that.
10. It’s better to under-water than over-water, so check the soil first. Stick your finger in up to your knuckle. If the soil isn’t bone dry and the plant isn’t wilting, wait. More plants have died from too much attention than the other way around.